USA, North America
Denise Scotto


In order to create a better world for everyone, one that is more inclusive, peaceful, fair, just, prosperous, and sustainable, human consciousness needs to shift to respect the dignity and value of our world’s women and girls. Violence against women and girls is both pervasive and persistent affecting women and girls from all walks of life–from all ages, from all cultural, ethnic and education backgrounds, from all classes in society. While violence takes different forms which can change over time as societies change, it is still violence when a woman is denied equal pay for the same work as a male or when a woman is beaten or sexually assaulted by her partner or when a girl is denied an education because she is a girl. Having law in place is the first step because it signals to society what is acceptable and what is not tolerable. CEDAW is known as the Bill of Rights for Women, yet, for many, it remains unclear that violence against women is an integral component. A specialized treaty concerning violence against women that is universally accepted sends a strong and clear message to everyone that women and girls matter and that their fundamental freedoms and human rights are incorporated as key drivers of societal change. The next step is changing hearts to take inspired action ensuring implementation that positively affect the daily lives of women and girls everywhere.

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